Graduate Rachel Leng, 23, is one of the 17 finalists in this year's Miss World Singapore pageant.
Besides joining the pageant, the publicpolicy and Asianstudies student from Duke University hopes to pursue a PhD soon.
My Paper speaks to her about the pageant's grand finals, which will be held on July 28.
What have the finalists been doing in preparation for the finals?
We have been attending many events, such as a grooming workshop and a fitness session.
We only recently started meeting together as finalists.
We'll be having rehearsals over the next few days and, hopefully, more training to get ready. But, individually, we've all been trying to take better care of our bodies.
What are your aspirations and how would your participation in Miss World contribute to them?
I'm interested in education, especially for children from underprivileged families.
So I really like that the pageant charity partnership this year is with the Jamiyah Children's Home.
What lessons do you wish to take from this experience?
I guess it would be (lessons) on public speaking and building self-esteem and confidence.
I have learnt so much from meeting the finalists and all the people that we've met along the way.
It really challenges you to build interpersonal skills and learn how to empathise with others, especially as we will be working with children.
If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be and why?
Honestly, I'm very happy with being myself, but if I had to choose someone, it would be Cleopatra because I've always been fascinated by her. She's a strong woman and she did so much for her country.
What is the most attractive feature of your personality and what is your most prominent talent?
I would say I'm very easy-going, but talent- and personality-wise, I would say my (most attractive) feature would be the ability to be articulate and my intelligence, because I love studying.
I write a lot and I love reading and writing, which ties in with teaching and contributing knowledge.
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